Un-bee-lievably Cool History

Thanks to honey bees, humans have been consuming honey for a very, very long time. In fact, explorers found pots filled with honey in the tombs of ancient Egyptian pharaohs. And even though it was thousands of years old, it was still perfectly edible!

Honey has strong antibacterial properties — that means it kills germs. You can even use honey to help heal a cut or a scrape. Those same properties also mean that it never spoils or goes bad!

To make a pound of beeswax, honeybees visit over 30 million flowers. Beeswax flakes out from under the bees’ abdomens, and then they pack it together to construct a honeycomb. Humans use beeswax for everything from candles to makeup to medicine.

Honey bees mix pollen and nectar to make “bee bread” to feed to baby bees. Beekeepers collect pollen from hives, and some people take it as a supplement to their food — or blend it into smoothies, yum! It contains lots of protein and more than 90 nutrients!

Sometimes known as “bee glue,” propolis is used to seal up cracks in the hive, or defend against other insects by creating a sticky barrier. No wonder this word literally means “protect the city” in ancient Greek. Propolis was used to care for wounds in ancient civilizations, and sometimes even for chewing gum!

The sweet stuff! Honey bees have to gather 8 ounces of nectar to make 1 ounce of honey. To gather that nectar, they visit 50 to 100 flowers during each flight from the hive, and can make 10 flights a day! Honey is actually bee food, used to power and sustain their hives — humans are just lucky they make enough to share!

*Note: honey should never be given to babies less than 1 year old!

How Beekeepers Harvest Honey

Beekeepers are experts at getting honey from the hive, and they’ve got few tricks up their sleeves! (Hopefully no bees up there, though.)

Learn from our very own Queen Bee, Nona Evans, and watch a slideshow from honeycomb to honey jar.

Make sure to watch our Bee-Hind the Scenes: Beekeepers Tools 101 for tools of the trade.